HALT(S) is a tool that can be used to develop self-awareness and attend to self-care. It is an acronym that reminds us to take a moment (HALT) and ask ourselves if we are feeling Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired or Sick. When these basic physical or emotional needs are not met, we become suspectable to self-destructive behaviors. This tool serves as a warning system to ask ourselves:
Hungry: Am I hungry?
When did you last eat? The hunger could be a lack of food or an emotional need like the need for affection, for understanding, etc. If you are hungry, get a nutritious meal or snack and sit down to eat without distractions. For emotional hunger, cultivate your personal relationship with Allah and your support systems.
Angry: Am I angry?
What kinds of stress are you experiencing? Take time to assess and understand what is causing your anger and learn how to express it constructively. Try to stay away from eating your anger and deal with it in a healthy way such as through ritual ablution, physical activity etc.
Lonely: Am I lonely?
When was the last time you were in good company? Loneliness can take place when we are by ourselves or when surrounded by people. It may be related to difficulty reaching out or other emotional issues. Reach out to your support systems – a good friend or social event at the mosque might be what you need. If loneliness is constant, you may need professional support to address it.
Tired: Am I tired?
Have you been getting enough sleep and letting your body rest? Tiredness takes a physical and emotional toll on our bodies and compromises our capacity to cope. Taking the time to HALT is particularly important when you are tired. Make sure to take care of the physical need for sleep and rest and be careful not to take on too much.
Sick: Am I sick?
Being sick means we are not able to function at our complete capacity and this may compromise our ability to think clearly and cope with challenges. Focus on your healthcare needs and remember that if you are unwell, you are not much help to anyone else.
HALT(S) allow us to improve our self-awareness and serve as a reminder that we need to take care of our basic physical and emotional needs every day.